How to build SAAS based software solutions

“How to build SAAS based software solutions”

The global spending on SaaS (Software as a Service) is on an all-time high. The growth is expected to go from $49 billion in 2015 to $67 billion in 2018. Each year the investment on SaaS solutions is on the rise. Through SaaS, companies buy, build and maintain their IT infrastructure and handle exponential costs that come with them. Here, the platform is Internet-as-a-service through which centrally hosted applications are run through SaaS provider’s servers and are delivered to users. While connected to the Internet, they can easily plug in and subscribe to services present on the shared infrastructure. SaaS has thus proved to be a major boon for businesses, especially for small-to-mid sized companies.

Have a quick look at the advantages of SaaS.

No costly installation

Since you maintain the software via the Internet, you don’t have to perform any complex software and hardware management. Users access the web applications with the help of a thin client through a web browser. Offers painless application access Another main advantage of SaaS is that the customers don’t have to buy, install, maintain or update any software or hardware, all they need is an active Internet connection.

Low initial costs

As SaaS applications are subscription based, there are no license costs, and so no startup costs. The SaaS provider manages the IT infrastructure, and offers faster deployment. Hassle-free upgrades & easy maintenance The customer doesn’t have to bother with the upgrades because it is all managed by the cloud service provider, and will keep growing with the user base.


Customers enjoy flexibility in scaling, especially with SaaS vendors having true multi tenant architecture. This makes it evident why building SaaS based software solutions is so important to your business. But technology is moving quickly, and you have to be at the base of it, keeping abreast of the latest technologies. Here are very happening tools for building SaaS software.

GitHub & Waffle combo

Github is a web-based Git or version control repository and Internet hosting service that developers mostly use for coding. Apart from having its own source code management functionality, it provides distributed version control and a host of collaboration features like wikis and basic task management tools for each project.
Developers keep all their repos in Github; for example – web, backend, landing, API, blog, syncing with 3rd party tools and so on. The product parts are also divided into repos, which have their own GitHub issues in which bugs and features will be logged. As switching between particular tasks is a little difficult, developers use Waffles to help bring all the multiple repos from under one board.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is one of the most efficient Server Side development tool. Developers are of the opinion that it solves most of the hard infrastructure issues that web applications have. And as Rails has been around for a decade, you can be assured of its stability. But RoR has a well-developed community, and an admirable suite of tools that makes it a winner among all the tools.


PostgreSQL is an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) that focuses on extensibility and standard compliance. Features like nested transactions (savepoints), Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC), a sophisticated query planner/optimizer, point in time recovery, tablespaces, asynchronous replication, online/hot backups and write ahead logging for fault tolerance are incorporated in PostgreSQL.


Node.js, a server side framework, and once you have a proper plan on how the app should look, feel and work, you can easily use it for making SaaS apps. Apps built with SaaS have very high performance value, and low maintenance. Here are some of the most popular frameworks for building SaaS apps with Node.js – Express, KOA, Sails, Total, Mean and Meteor.

Enterprise SAAS solutions

SaaS solutions are perfect because they solve a number of problems faced by small companies, and recently they have become efficient enough to handle complex requirements of big enterprise businesses. Enterprise SaaS may not be suitable for every organisation, but it is definitely suitable for companies looking to cut costs, limit initial capital expense, enjoy easy deployment and solve all the problems that traditional enterprise software has (for example, user interface). SaaS solutions have gained traction among enterprises because they use a modern, more open web-based architecture.

The deployment of apps, managing their upgrades, monitoring performance and assuring high availability are all major tasks that companies cannot falter on. By assigning this to a reliable third party, the IT department in these big enterprises can focus on business needs and accomplish their objectives. With the arrival of SaaS, rather than becoming obsolete, the IT department has had the opportunity to contribute to the success of the company more than ever before.

Choosing the right implementation approach for SaaS

It is important to choose the approach because it makes all the difference between a successful deployment/implementation and success. Here are the five main approaches:

  1. Proof-of-Concept – Companies involved with workforce planning can try this approach, as it offers a try your size kind of approach. It is perfect for simple, repeatable processes.
  2. Best-of-Breed – This approach for poorly designed processes. Occasional cost savings, rapid deployment are major advantages of Best-of-Breed approach.
  3. Standard Scope and Approach – Choose this approach for automated or re-implemented well-established processes on a new technology platform. As it is a standard one, consulting firms and vendors mostly uses this approach.
  4. Process-First – Oraganisations having decentralized processes and disparate systems may want to integrate their processes seamlessly. Process- First is a two-phase approach where highly varied and complex processes are harmonised first, followed by proper configuration.
  5. Quality & Integration-First – When quality is a serious factor and when you cannot afford to have any errors, Quality and Integration first method is used. This approach is almost like the process-first approach, and is preceded by ‘SIPOC’ mapping – Sources (upstream systems), Inputs (data), Processes, Outputs (data) and Consumers (downstream systems).

Whichever tool and approach you use to build your SaaS software, the ultimate aim is the satisfaction of the end-user. Spend some time thinking about what people want, and build accordingly.

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Flickr//NEC Corporation of America, othree, Linux Screenshots

About the author: Reema works as Thought Leader at PHPBabu.

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